‘Archer’ teaches Jessica Walter some pretty wild sex slang


Archer: 1999 | Wednesday, 10 p.m., FXX

The 10th season of FXX’s animated series “Archer” is pretty far out there — in space, that is. Wednesday’s premiere has changed title character Sterling Archer (voiced by H. Jon Benjamin) into a galaxy-hopping salvage- ship co-captain alongside his ex-wife (Aisha Tyler), his domineering mother (Jessica Walter), and crew. The move is part of an anthology-like format started in 2015, when Archer’s origin story as an inept spy at the fictional International Secret Intelligence Service was dumped because it shared an acronym with the real-life ISIS terrorist organization. Since then he’s been a Borneo drug-runner (Season 6), a 1970s private investigator (Season 7), a film-noir PI in 1947 Los Angeles (Season 8) and a 1930s seaplane pilot on a tropical island (Season 9).

Executive producers Matt Thompson and Casey Willis recently spoke with The Post by phone from the show’s Atlanta, Ga., studio.

What did you think when you realized the name ISIS could be problematic?
Thompson: We didn’t think that ISIS as a terrorist organization was going to stick around — of course it is going to be defeated immediately! And it felt like the world wanted us to make a commentary on it, and we didn’t want to give ISIS any power, even by acknowledging them. All we wanted was to say, “We’re not doing it anymore,” trying not to draw attention to it because we didn’t want to say, “You win this round.”
Willis: I remember [creator] Adam Reed saying, “I can’t make a joke out of this because people are dying.”
Thompson: Hopefully we did the right thing; I don’t know.

Why did you set this season in space?
Thompson: There’s something that is important to the series as a whole that we wanted to do in outer space. You’re going to see it in the final couple episodes.

Are there homages to sci-fi films and TV?
Willis: We definitely leaned a lot on “Alien.” At first, we thought it would almost be all in that “Alien” world, but in the second episode they’re traveling to different planets, meeting different species. Now it’s influenced by “Star Trek,” “Star Wars,” “Space: 1999,” “Buck Rogers,” “Firefly.”

Will space affect Archer?
Willis: There’s a focus on him shirking responsibilities. It’s his personality: “Out here I can do anything I want. This is where I thrive — chaos.”
Thompson: The Wild West, to some degree.

Has any season been particularly big for you?
Willis: Season 8 because in Season 7 actor George Coe [who voiced Archer’s valet Woodhouse] died. There were a couple attempts to write an episode in Season 7 to deal with the death of Woodhouse, but [creator] Adam Reed couldn’t get it to work.
Thompson: He didn’t want it to be one very special episode. George deserved more. How do you say goodbye to somebody? If you put them at the center of a film-noir mystery, you’re always dealing with them in absentia. It was a giant love letter to George.

The show has its share of off-color humor. Are there limits to that?
Thompson: No, but some of the most uncomfortable moments we have had is explaining sexually-based slang to Jessica Walter.
Willis: Like “tea-bagging.”
Thompson: Hear this in Jessica Walter’s voice: “Tell me about this tea-bagging.” [laughs] Then you have to methodically, like a lawyer, tell her. It’s not what can we get away with; it’s what we are comfortable explaining. Because there’s a point where it’s like, “Oh, I don’t want to say this to her.”

— Eric Hegedüs

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And here’s what else to watch this week:

Good Omens | Friday, Amazon

Series premiere. Aziraphale (Michael Sheen) and Crowley (David Tennant) are an angel and a demon who are in search of the Antichrist (Sam Taylor Buck) before the world ends. Based on the Neil Gaiman novel of the same name.

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Songland | Tuesday, 10 p.m., NBC

Series premiere. This talent show champions undiscovered songwriters. Hopefully, the winner will compose something more creative than “Bitch, where’s my money,” which is how Bette Midler described today’s songs in Variety. First challenge: contestants pitch John Legend.

Deadwood: The Movie | Friday, 8 p.m., HBO

South Dakota became a state on Nov. 2, 1889. To celebrate the occasion, the denizens of Deadwood, SD, are reuniting. Returning series cast members include Ian McShane, Timothy Olyphant, Molly Parker, Robin Weigert and Gerald McRaney.

When They See Us | Friday, Netflix

Series premiere. The travesty of the Central Park Five trial is re-enacted by director Ava duVernay, who must be killing herself for hiring future jailbird Felicity Huffman to play famed Manhattan prosecutor Linda Fairstein.

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Fosse/Verdon | Tuesday, 10 p.m., FX

Series finale. Bob Fosse (Sam Rockwell) makes a movie about himself called “All That Jazz,” which starred Roy Scheider, who was nominated for an Oscar.

The Hot Zone | Monday, 9 and 10 p.m., National Geographic

Series premiere. Julianna Margulies returns as US Army veterinarian Nancy Jaax who, in 1989, discovered that the deadly Ebola virus appeared in chimpanzees, in a suburban Washington, D.C., lab. Working with a SWAT team, Jaax tried to head off the outbreak before it spread to the human population. Co-starring Noah Emmerich, Topher Grace and Liam Cunningham.

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Killing Eve | Sunday, 8 p.m., AMC/BBC America

Series finale. The disappointing Season 2 concludes with no buzz. Starring Jodie Comer.